Being in control means you can change things with your thoughts, emotions, and actions. It means you have power over it and you can adjust the gradient however you want.
We all wish we had control over the world around us, but the truth is, there are very few things that we have control over. At this theoretical level, this is nothing new, and we are aware of that, but on an emotional level we easily forget this and it can get us upset.
In general, we tolerate uncertainty and frustration quite poorly when our expectations are not met the way we want them to. It can be unpleasant when this happens, just as it can be annoying when we don’t know what is going to happen in a given situation.
What can I check?
In the outside world? Nothing. However , you can easily check yourself. We can feel free and content when we think and believe this.
There is a countless amount of problems and stressful situations that could happen and it is normal to get emotional when this happens. The emotions that come up in the face of a threat or loss are completely normal and help us manage the problem.
But if your emotions get too intense, last too long, or happen too often, it means the “internal software” is failing, perhaps because you’re trying to control something you can’t control. You must be telling yourself that things have to change the way you want them to, and this way of thinking only leads to frustration, because things don’t suddenly happen just because you want them to.
As we have already said, you can control and change the way you see the world because no one can enter your mind, but it is completely absurd to try to change the world around you. Internalize the idea that you can’t control anything but yourself and you will become emotionally flexible and strong, able to enjoy everything you can change.
Tolerate uncertainty and frustration
To be psychologically healthier, you must learn to tolerate uncertainty and frustration. Uncertainty arises when we are not sure of what is going to happen. Some people react to this with fear because they stress about ‘preparing’ for when the potential event is scary or dangerous. This creates the strategy of constant worry. But no matter how much you worry about something, it doesn’t prevent what’s about to happen from actually happening.
Even if I worry a lot because I have a severe headache, it will not prevent me from getting sick. And if I eventually get a diagnosis, I will be responsible and take care of myself, which is logical and sensible.
We feel frustrated when our expectations are not met. I expect life, other people and me to behave according to the standards I create and if they don’t I get angry, depressed or anxious. But eventually the world moves on and I’m stuck with that annoying anger. Two problems for the price of one. Is that worth it?
How do you stop trying to control things?
Here are some tips that can help you stop trying to control everything and tolerate uncertainty.
- Accept and tolerate the fact that security and safety do not exist. In this world, the only thing we can be sure of is that we will die at some point. That is it. You can never be completely sure that your partner loves you and will never leave you or that you will never get sick or that you will be successful in your career.
- Even if you put a lot of effort into something, sometimes you still don’t succeed. Of course, if you’re good at something, you’ll get better results. But it doesn’t always happen that way, that’s just how the world works. So it is better not to focus on the results and enjoy what you are doing without worrying about what will happen in the future.
- Leave the strict standards for yourself, others and the world behind. Nothing, or at least almost nothing, will go exactly the way you want. Getting angry, depressed or anxious won’t change that and it’s a waste of time and energy.
- Take responsibility for yourself. The good news is that you do have yourself under control and you can start doing that right now. You can look at yourself from different angles, try to be a little more flexible and worry less. But don’t become apathetic, because even then you let fear take over.